Nikon D40 lens advice, please

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Collie mad, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. Collie mad

    Collie mad TPF Noob!

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    Hello, I'm pretty knew to DSLR photography and I have the Nikon D40 and I'm completly confused as to which lens I can use with it, my love is wildlife photography, and at the moment I have a 55-200mm lens and I now know that wildlife doesn't come and sit a couple of yards in front of you and pose while you fiddle about trying to get stunning shots of them :lol:.

    Can anyone recommend a lens that not only has a fastish focus, but is either up to 300mm, 400mm or more, I've got so confused searching for a suitable lens, and just as I think that I've found one, it says not autofocus on the Nikon D40 :confused:

    Your help and advice will be greatly received :D

    Thank you :D
     
  2. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you want lenses that will autofocus on your D40, look for Nikon AF-S or Sigma HSM lenses. What is your budget? A 400mm can be really expensive.
     
  3. BTilson

    BTilson TPF Noob!

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    Another option that might work for you is to get the 2x teleconverter that Nikon makes. If I'm not mistaken, you can still autofocus with your lens, and it will double the focal length, so instead of 55-200 you'll have 110-400. I think you lose a slight amount of image quality, but from what I've heard, it's negligable to all but the most discriminating eye.

    I made a post a little while back of a lot (probably not all) of the lenses that will AF with the D40, along with a round about price. Check it out here:

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=141830
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    a 2* teleconverter on a 55-200mm won't be worth it IMO. I have used a 2*teleconverter on a canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS (so I can retain my AF) and even on a top end zoom like that the drop in sharpness is noticable - getting sharp shots is very tricky. Though I know that camera bodies does come into this and a higher end body will resonve a slightly sharper shot with this combo - its still a noticable degradation.

    On a lens like the 55-200mm Nikon - a budget range lens- the drop in quality would not be worth the gain in range. Sadly wildlife shooting is one of the most expensive areas to get into with photography- unless you have very good fieldcraft skills.
    A 1.4 times teleconverter might be worth a look - they generally give boost to focal range with little to no loss in quality.
    After that the only 3 considerations are:

    1) a good 300mm prime lens - an f4 or idealiy an f2.8 (though the latter really costs)
    2) impoving fieldcraft skills to get closer
    3) shoot in a park/zoo ;) 55-200mm range is great for such places where you can get close without problems and the large differences in subject size and distance favour a zoom. Of course its not wild shooting, but it still got its challenges
     
  5. Collie mad

    Collie mad TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your replies :D

    From what I can gather, it would be better to spend my money on a quality 70-300mm lens than go for something of 400mm or above, and improve my stalking skills :lol: I have to admit that what I think are my best pictures are those that have taken me a lot of time to get, letting the wildlife get used to me being around, I think I need to invest in some thermals as well now that winter is nearly here :D


    My budget will be £500-£600, or if I waited till the new year a bit more :D
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    In the wilds a prime is less a hinderance than a zoom - since most times you are going to be sitting at its max focal length - getting in closer only as much as you really need to.
    Based on that a prime would be the better to aim for - I had a quick look on amazon and the only 300mm prime (an f4) for nikon that I could see was this:
    [ame]http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nikon-Af-S-300Mm-F4-If/dp/B00005LEOM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1224682425&sr=1-3[/ame]
    though I don't know if its an older lens -- granted its pushing your budget into next year, but if its anything like the canon 300mm f4 it will be a quality purchase - jsut to got wait for a nikon shooter to pass judgement now ;)
     

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